Feeds

Firefox comes over all cloudy

Weave becomes Sync, and almost works

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Firefox Weave has become Firefox Sync, and will be part of Firefox 4 in a cloud-based future.

Firefox Sync is basically a server-based store which holds your bookmarks, passwords, preferences and history, providing a consistency of experience that will eventually extend even to the iPhone.

Sync is available now as an add-on for Firefox, though a Mozilla blog post explains how that's only part of the Firefox cloud experience, which will include Firefox Home for the iPhone user who wants to take his bookmarks with him, and a developer's API for those who want to expand on the functionality.

Security is paramount to the point of imposition: connect to the Firefox Synchronisation server and you'll have to provide a password (of an acceptable length) and a cryptographic phrase which is used to decrypt your details once they've been downloaded (only encrypted versions are stored in the cloud). That's all very commendable, but won't sit well with the IE crowd, which values simplicity over security.

The service works, though we couldn't get open tabs or passwords synchronised and had to prompt it a few times to get even bookmarks replicated between platforms. There's clearly still some work still to do.

With more devices getting a usable browsing experience there is definitely a need for synchronising bookmarks, at least. Opera's Link function has been providing that for a while now, but because it restricts itself to bookmarks and notes it doesn't have the security issues that Firefox Sync faces in storing online passwords and identities in the cloud.

In the brief period when a mobile phone could fulfil the role of a laptop it was the consistency of experience which made the idea compelling. But if one could walk away from the desk and continue the same browsing session on a phone then that would be almost as good, especially as applications migrate into the browser.

Firefox isn't very mobile just yet, though it's getting there. Opera is mobile but makes no pretence of synchronising open tabs, so it's not ideal just yet either, but at least we're moving in the right direction. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.